As the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan moves towards completion, members of the Trent and Peterborough communities are invited to review the draft plan and share feedback to help the University achieve its vision of creating a “sustainable and inspiring campus community, thoughtfully integrating the natural and built environments, with vibrant spaces to learn, innovate, be active and live.”
The draft Lands and Nature Areas Plan is available for review online at trentu.ca/trentlandsplan. Comments and feedback are welcome until Monday, January 4, 2021.
The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan will serve as a framework for the continued evolution of the Symons Campus, balancing many priorities. The plan advances environmental education and preserves the Nature Areas, while enabling the University to respond to local concerns such as housing pressures and regional employment. Additionally, the plan strives to foster greater connections between the campus and our host community, and generate a sustainable source of income to invest into advancing the University’s mission.
“The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan is an exciting vision for the future of the Symons Campus, advancing our role as stewards of the environment, and positioning us to meet the future needs of the campus and community,” said Julie Davis, vice-president, External Relations & Advancement, and executive sponsor of the plan update. “The plan brings together many voices and ideas shared over the past two years to chart a course for continued positive impact and leadership.”
The materials available for review at trentu.ca/trentlandsplan include:
Draft Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan
- A revised vision and four over-arching principles guide the plan:
- Learning and Discovery – our core mission as a University
- Environmental Resilience and Integrity
- Economic Resilience, Leadership and Innovation; and
- Social Resilience, Community & Inclusivity
- The creation of a University Green Network
- Promotes a systems-based approach to land stewardship with a robust and connected system of Nature Areas, green spaces and wildlife corridors that comprise 60% of the campus
- University Districts
- Areas where campus developments and joint campus-community infrastructure will be positioned
- Includes the campus core, Cleantech Commons, a university-integrated seniors village and a model sustainable village
- A permanent location for the experimental farm, vegetable gardens and campus apiary
- Recognition of the Michi Saagiig culture including medicine gardens, a traditional teaching lodge, and commemoration of the Michi Saagiig across the campus
Draft Nature Areas Stewardship Plan
- A section within the larger plan outlining the stewardship of Trent’s 11 Nature Areas
- Four management categories are introduced:
- Ecological Reserves place protection and biodiversity as primary priorities; lands classified in this category will include significant or sensitive features
- Conservation Areas balance ecological and biodiversity priorities with increased learning spaces and passive recreational uses
- Cultural Areas seek to protect cultural resources within a natural setting
- Agricultural Uses to support the on-campus food system and innovated farming practices
- Identifies specific projects including creating and managing habitat for species at risk – specifically blandings turtles, grassland birds, and barn swallows
- Outlines changes to the Nature Areas boundaries to ensure current conditions and feature limits, resulting in an approximately 13ha of additional land
Draft Framework Plan
- A graphic presentation of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan’s vision for the preservation, stewardship and growth of the campus over the next few decades
- Highlights the University Green Network, Nature Areas and University Districts and potential areas for Michi Saagiig recognition
Background work for the Trent Lands & Nature Areas Plan was completed in two phases. Phase 1, Understanding the Land, included field studies to document the natural features and species within the campus. Elders and members of the Michi Saagiig community shared Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, and contributed to a campus archaeological study. Digital tools and in-person input sessions enabled students, employees and community members to record areas of interest and concern across the 600 ha campus. The value of the Nature Areas for wellness and education, the importance of biodiversity, water and the health of the ecosystem were all themes that emerged from the engagement during Phase 1.
Phase 2, Campus Vision, explored opportunities to enrich campus life, enhance public spaces, foster campus-community connections, and advance teaching and research. Through campus and community engagement, the importance of housing and employment, local services and amenities, food systems and the value of Trent to the community were expressed and are reflected back in the draft plan.
The University acquired the services of independent experts to assist in the plan creation: SvN Architects + Planners, North-South Environmental, Nbisiing Consulting and Golder.
For more information about the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan visit trentu.ca/trentlandsplan.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
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